How an orange ball helped raise $6,000 (12 photos)Monday, February 11, 2013 by: Connie Carello
On Saturday afternoon, several local businesses, community members, family and friends organized ten teams to participate in a ball hockey tournament to raise funds in support of Easter Seals.
Locally the chapter has helped over eighty children with physical disabilities and their families with financial assistance and networking support since 1923.
In its second year, the ball hockey tournament has grown to be included in the Bon Soo Carnival.
Organizers James Boynton and Steven McCoy could not be happier about how much attention their idea has caught, “It really was an idea I had to give back. As a child growing up with a physical disability, I remember the Easter Seals providing support to my family and I just wanted to do something to help other kids like myself and to give back” Boynton said.
Tanya Vommaro, mother of nine-year old Ambassador of the local chapter, Hunter Vommaro had a permanent smile on her face, “I am just so happy with the turn out and all the hard work that everyone put into the event. The Easter Seals were one of the first organizations to offer financial support for us when they heard about Hunter; providing medical costs for equipment, travelling to Toronto for doctor’s appointments. I cannot thank James and Steve enough for doing this, it is very generous of them to donate their time to organize an event like this and I appreciate all the efforts made by the community in coming out and participating” she said.
In three divided courts, in a cleared out Northside Toyota parking lot, teams competed aggressively as they ran from one end to the other, chasing after a bright orange ball with one goal in mind: to shoot on net.
However, although all the teams who competed strived hard for first place, the title went to the Don Cherry Pickers, followed by the Barbershop Chops in second.
The team who raised the most funds was the Blue Nightmare, raising $1,020 for the cause.
The Sault College Cougars were welcomed as the first all-girls team to compete this year.
“It really is an amazing way to give back to the community,” McCoy said, “It comes from the heart and it is great to see so many people come out and want to help. People are having a good time all in the effort of helping a good cause.”
Retired NHL player and former greyhound Aaron Gavey, could not have agreed more with McCoy’s sentiment on the warm sense of community the event seemed to stir.
I am honoured to have the opportunity to come out and support the cause,” Gavey said, “Sault Ste. Marie is a great city. The people have a willingness to come out and support one another and I think that makes this city a great place to live. If I can use my experience playing to give back, I am honoured to.”
Gavey was accompanied by, also retired NHL player, Ken Belanger.
In total over $6,000 was raised in support of the local Easter Seals chapter which comprised of a hundred dollar team registration and additional pledges earned by team members.
Considering the success of the event in the last two years, Boynton and McCoy have already begun to outline their plan for next year’s event.